Tonight’s Trio

April 19, 2023

Three bets worth considering on a Wednesday night

Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets
Ball Arena – Denver, CO
10:00 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Denver -8.5

Game 1 of this first-round series was a laugher. The Nuggets won 109-80, in a game not as close as that score would indicate.

The Timberwolves were flat-out dreadful in the opener, losing by 29 in a game when Nikola Jokic scored just 13 points for Denver. Minnesota’s struggles on the offensive end were the main culprit, as the Wolves shot just 37% from the field and missed seven out of 16 free-throw attempts.

Expect that to continue tonight. There are few signs that the T-Wolves will right the ship.

The under is 5-0 in Minnesota’s last five road games against a team with a winning home record. The Nuggets were 34-7 at Ball Arena during the regular season.

The under is 8-0 in Denver’s last eight games following a straight-up win. They rolled on Sunday night. 

And the under is 4-0 in the Nuggets last four home games against a team with a losing road record. Minnesota was 20-21 away from Target Center this season.

The Nuggets had a great defensive effort in the opener. Head coach Michael Malone praised his team’s approach. So, expect a heightened defensive awareness against tonight.

On the other end, the Timberwolves will try to match the intensity. Look for a spirited effort from Minnesota after they got smacked in Game 1.

Tonight will be a slower game with both teams playing physical. Take the under.

Jason Schlefsky’s pick: Denver-Minnesota under 223.5 (-110)


Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park – Boston, MA
7:10 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Minnesota -130

Boston is off to a middling start this season. The Red Sox’ 5-4 win over Minnesota in extra innings on Tuesday got them to just 9-9 on the season.

But, they’re playing much better baseball of late. That’s four wins in five games for the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, the Twins are sputtering. After starting the season with a dazzling 10-4 record, Minnesota has lost three straight, including the series opener at Fenway Park.

Both ships will turn on Wednesday night. The pitching matchup is that lopsided.

Corey Kluber is on the mound for Boston. The two-time Cy Young winner has struggled mightily this season. He’s 0-3 on the year, with a 6.92 ERA. The righthander gave up four runs in just 4.2 innings of work his last time out.

Minnesota counters with Joe Ryan. Their righty is 3-0 on the season, with a 2.84 ERA. In his last start, he pitched 7.0 dazzling innings against the Yankees, giving up just one run on three hits.

Add it up and the trends reverse tonight. Boston’s hot streak has come in large part because they got to play the Angels. Kluber will struggle against a good Minnesota team.

Richard DeMala’s pick: Minnesota M/L (-130)


Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies
FedExForum – Memphis, TN
7:30 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Even

This will probably be a very popular play. So, get in early, assuming that Ja Morant won’t be in the lineup for Memphis.

Either way, the Lakers matchup well with the Grizzlies. That was readily apparent in Game 1, when Los Angeles rolled to a 128-112 victory.

Without Steven Adams in the lineup, Memphis struggled defensively. Anthony Davis scored 22, while Rui Hachimura poured in 29 off the bench.

The Grizzlies are just 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games when their opponent scored 100-plus points in the previous game. The Lakers blew past that mark in Game 1.

L.A. is built for the playoffs. The experience of Davis and LeBron James was apparent in Game 1.

This series goes off the rails early. The Lakers will take a 2-0 lead heading back to Los Angeles.

Jason Schlefsky’s pick: Los Angeles M/L (-110)

Perfect Parlay

Today’s best packaged deal

  1. Los Angeles Lakers M/L (-110)
  2. Lakers/Grizzlies over 228.0 (-110)

The over is 6-0 in the Lakers last six games. It’s also 7-0 in Los Angeles’ last seven games following a win. The Lakers have been on a torrid pace of late, scoring more than 120 points in seven of their last eight games. Look for that to continue.

Jason Schlefsky’s Two-Leg Parlay = +260

Around the Nation

Things we’ve learned this week

From Bad to Worse – Things aren’t looking good for the defending NBA champs. The Warriors find themselves in an 0-2 hole against the upstart Kings. Getting back on track in Game 3 won’t be easy, as Golden State will be playing without one of their key players. Draymond Green has been suspended for one game after stepping on Domantas Sabonis in Game 2, the latest example of the power forward playing on the edge. Once again, his antics have hurt his team. This time, it might derail a title defense.

Uncharted Waters – The Warriors aren’t the only defending champions in early playoff trouble. The Avalanche lost their series opener to the Kraken, falling into an 0-1 hole in their first-round matchup. Last year, Colorado never trailed in a series en route to their Stanley Cup win. Now, they’ll have to find a way to rally after surrendering home ice to a Seattle team making their first-ever playoff appearance.